Thursday, March 16, 2023

Roku drops Roku 4 from support

Roku has finally announced that the Roku 4, model 4400, is no longer receiving support.

I found out about this because of an article I read on Cord Cutters News. According to the Website, Roku sent emails to owners of Roku 4 about the decision. Since I never owned a Roku 4, I didn't get an email. I did check the Roku Hardware page and see that the Roku 4 was moved to the Legacy section, indicating it had indeed been moved from the list of supported devices. I never did get the email.

While your current player will continue to stream and receive critical updates, it doesn’t have the latest capabilities and will soon stop receiving feature updates.

You can keep using your Roku player to stream the channels you currently have. However, this device will no longer get new features or streaming channels, updates to existing channels, or other software-related updates. You may lose access to some channels over time as those channel partners make updates.

I think it's about time. The Roku 4 was the first high end Roku device that I never recommended. That device has had a troubled history, and I thought they should have discontinued support for it a long time ago.

When it came out, I actually considered getting a new Roku device. However, I waited, and I'm glad I did.

When the Roku 4 was released in late 2015, the Roku 3 was two years old, having been released in late 2013. However, they had refreshed the Roku 3 in early 2015, and when the Roku 4 was released, they didn't discontinue the Roku 3.

I had purchased my first Roku in 2010, and had the top of the line model. When new top of the line devices were released, the previous one had been discontinued. However, the Roku 4 was not a replacement for the Roku 3. Rather, it was an expansion of the line. They kept the Roku 3 in the lineup.

Since this was not the way things had been done in the past, I wondered what was up with that. So, I waited to get one. And I'm glad I did.

The Roku 4 had all kind of issues, from being noisy -- it was the first Roku to have a fan -- to locking up or simply stop working altogether. Several Roku users that frequented the support forum actually recommended against it. I didn't, but I did report to others about the issues that had been experienced by some, and always recommended the Roku 3, since it was still in the lineup.

Roku replaced the Roku 4 with the Roku Ultra a year later, and did actually remove the Roku 4 from the lineup, but continued support. I always thought Roku should have offered an exchange for the Roku 4 and dropped support immediately. I would have suggested notifying all Roku users of the decision immediately and offered a year to exchange the device, and gotten that poorly built device out of circulation.

Roku didn't, of course. Rather, they kept pretending it was worth supporting. Well, until recently.

I'm glad to see it moved to the legacy section. By the way, the Roku 3 (both models) are still in the list of supported devices. The Roku 3 was a rock solid device in its day. The Roku 4 was not. I'm glad my Streaming Life never included one of those.

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